Musical journey hits high note

14 February 2011

Kincumber High School students and musician Mike McCarthy.They might not yet be filling rock arenas, but student musicians at Kincumber High School have taken the first steps towards a music career by launching a CD of original songs.

Sounds of Momentum features the work of gifted and talented student songwriters who collaborated with professional Central Coast musician Mike McCarthy.

Kincumber High School music teacher and project coordinator Sharon McKay said during the past two years, the school's music department had established a composer's program to encourage gifted and talented student musicians to develop their skills.

Part of the program included a two-term project for particularly gifted songwriters.  Called Collaborative Composition and CD Creation, it helped students through every step of creating a CD of professionally produced, quality, original compositions. 

Thirteen students from Years 7 to 11 worked with Mr McCarthy in crafting songs, recording their pieces, and producing Sounds of Momentum

Both Mr McCarthy and Ms McKay were very pleased with the results.

Mr McCarthy said it was a privilege to work alongside the students.

"I was quite shocked by the musical standard of the students. It was very high and this made working with them a real pleasure," Mr McCarthy said.

A focus on industry experience was achieved as students learned about and professionally recorded their pieces with Mr McCarthy.

Live radio interviews, live performances and being involved in every step of the process of making the CD had all played a part in contributing to the program's success. 

The new CD is available at Kincumber High School.

Kincumber High School was a winner of a Creative Partnerships Artists in Schools grant from the NSW Department of Education, The Arts Council of Australia and Communities of Arts NSW.

"It has been really fun songwriting with Mike.  He helped me to get my lyrics together and to get some new tunes down.  It's hard work to do it on your own and it's good to get some fresh ideas from a professional." Brandon Duff

 "I learned so much on how to write, how to put your song out.  There are so many hours that go into it and you don't realise how much people have to work to be in the music industry and to stay in it.  That has been a big learning experience for me." Jessica Lord

 "Mike has taught me lots of new ways to write music, new techniques for writing songs, [and] blues guitar licks.  I really want to become a professional musician!" Tom Hutchin


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